The Quickest Way Anywhere is a Straight Line

It’s a fact…the quickest way anywhere is a straight line. So, why do credit unions seemingly insist on charting winding paths for their members and their marketers?

Many times we overthink strategies and plans. We get bogged down by the “that can’t be done that way” attitudes in the face of change. Even when the reality is that we should be removing obstacles and simplifying processes instead of settling into an outdated process.

A client once started a meeting by asking, “what are you trying to achieve, and what is the quickest way to get there?” That simply stated question is how we should think about processes, targets, goals, experiences, and almost anything that has to be accomplished. The client had boiled down the information she wanted to know to its simplest form and we were able to move forward quickly from there.

So, what does that mean for you? For your members? For your website? For your loan growth? Share growth? Email blasts? When is the last time you checked out what your website looks like on a cellphone? When is the last time you tried to find a “join now” link on your home page and where did the link take you when you found it? If members, or potential members, can’t find basic information within seconds, you are not communicating effectively.

We’ve all heard the “3 clicks or less” direction when designing websites, or actionable click-throughs, but why 3? Shouldn’t our goal be “one-click away”? One-click away is the standard for disclosures, shouldn’t that be the standard for all the experiences we want our members to have? Finding a link to join, or apply for a loan, or opt-in for something should not be a scavenger hunt for members, it should be intuitive and, honestly, right in front of their faces. Our goal as credit unions, as communicators, should be to provide members with fast, easy, convenient financial solutions.

When it comes to email blasts, more email addresses are not always better. Unless, of course, it is a compliance communication, annual meeting notice, or maybe a holiday closure. However, if you are running a HELOC promotion, for example, don’t send a mass email. Think straight line. You already have members with active HELOCs, or members that are not at that stage in their lives. By keeping your target audience relevant you are not only making your member feel special, but you are also ensuring your unsubscribe rate does not skyrocket. All this will hopefully culminate in an ROI that is higher than originally expected. The email itself should take the member directly to the application – not a landing page that they have to then scroll down to find the link. This being just my opinion of course, but it’s my blog so I’m voicing it.

Streamlining experiences, taking the hurdles and obstacles out of the way, providing the member with a “straight-line” to their goal–those should be our goals as credit unions, marketers, and effective communicators. That experience will make a difference to your members and hopefully your bottom line.

Audra Wilder, a data-driven Senior Relationship Development Leader, is ready to help you conquer your “quick win” goals! Want to know more? Contact her at

Ready to kick your big data deep dive into high gear? Fill out this form to get started.